By Judith Ashley
This month the Genre-istas are giving a Shout Out For Charity! You may be asking yourself what the connection is between Charity and Romance. My answer: Off the top of my head I can’t think of a situation in which Charity is inconsequential. From my perspective, something is missing from a person's life. There is a hole somewhere in their life they can't fill but Charity can. The underlying purpose of Charity is to make things better. The people, places, pets, things are better for the Charity’s involvement.
I like to think that reading romance novels has a positive affect; that the time spent in that fictional world frees them from the immediate challenges in their lives. And, for that moment in time when they are drawn into that fictional world, when they know that no matter what the problems the characters face, there will be a happily-ever-after ending. For those minutes or hours, their lives are better.
I'm Shouting Out for the Three Charities below because I know they make the world a better place.
Free Arts Northwest provides arts experiences which empower underserved youth to find their creativity, passion, and voice. Through arts education, collaborttive projects and ongoing mentorship, Free Arts NW cultivates individual artistic exploration while strengthening youth particpants’ connection to their community. Free Arts NW is more than a creation of art. The art serves as a catalyst for youth to feed pride in their work, receive public recognition, and get involved in their community.
Please take a moment and hear from the youth directly. Meet Sierra. She was one of Free Arts NW first youth participants and she will tell you how Free Arts NW has touched her life: http://vimeo.com/62140796
Project Pooch partners unwanted shelter dogs with incarcerated teens. To participate in this program the young men must meet certain criteria. They are taught to work with the dogs in socialization (being around other dogs and people) and obedience training. When the dogs are ready, they are matched with people looking for a pet and the young man knows he’s been successful. For the time they are together, each are lavished with unconditional love – for both the dog and the teen, this may be their first experience. To learn more go to www.Pooch.org
Kinship House provides a unique blend of essential mental health services to children and families during all stages of foster care, placement, and adoption. Therapists at Kinship House are experienced and effective in helping children and families create stable growing up homes. Learning to trust adults can be a difficult task for children who have built a thick wall of distrust as a way of protecting themselves from abusive adults. A warm and welcoming place, Kinship House is located in a neighborhood. For more information and to donate www.KinshipHouse.org